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Robinson, Buckner take bite out of Storm

February 12, 2006|By CHRIS CARTER

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -

It took Martinsburg freshman Iesha Robinson a few moments to describe the chemistry she and senior LaToya Buckner share on the basketball court. Then with a smile she said, "It's a friend thing."

Robinson teamed with Buckner to torture Mercersburg Academy on both ends of the floor to lead the Bulldogs to a 57-36 victory Saturday afternoon.

Robinson scored 19 points and Buckner added 16 as Martinsburg avenged its 55-48 loss to the Blue Storm on Jan. 25.

"I play real well with 'Esha," Buckner said. "She knows if I get the rebound then she's gone, and if she gets it then I'm gone. We know each other's game and where we are on the court."

The duo also had six steals apiece Saturday, leading a Bulldogs defense that came up with 23 turnovers to help snap a three-game losing streak.

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"The whole team was mad because we had been losing," Robinson said. "We knew we had to step up defensively. I said to myself I just I had to step it up."

Early on, Kelsey Roman gave Martinsburg trouble on the perimeter, knocking down three 3s for 11 first-half points to help keep the Blue Storm within shouting distance, trailing 29-22. But the Bulldogs put the clamps on the sophomore guard in the second half, holding her to just one bucket and only four points.

"At halftime we talked about making sure we knew where she was," said Martinsburg coach Beth Sadler, whose team led 41-34 at the end of the third quarter. "We wanted to make sure we had someone in her face and we made the adjustments."

As Roman was contained, so was Mercersburg, which was held without a basket for the fourth quarter and outscored 16-2 in the final period. Not helping matters for the Blue Storm was the absence of 5-foot-9 forward Alice Walton and 5-10 center Sam Schroer, which helped Martinsburg to a 14-4 advantage on the offensive glass.

"We were without two of our starters and that was a big difference. We're not the world's tallest team to begin with and at times it can be problematic," said Mercersburg coach Erin Duffy. "We usually have a solid enough outside game to make up for the inside game."

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